Patricia Binder, French teacher at CVHS, enjoyed her summer vacation far away from the high school and Castro Valley, on the complete other side of the world in France. She and her family spent five weeks, from mid July until late August, enjoying famous sights, people, and culture.
“It was the second hottest summer in France since 2003!” Binder said. Despite the intense heat, she and her family enjoyed their vacation abroad. They had the opportunity to visit some very exciting places during their stay.
“We climbed Sacré-Cœur, which my grandchildren loved, but not grandma!” Binder laughed. Sacré-Cœur is a Roman Catholic church in Paris located at the highest point in the city, where many tourists spend time to admire the view of the city and take pictures on the steps out front.
For Binder and her family, one of the highlights of the trip was having the opportunity to watch the Tour de France, a world-famous cycling race that happens every summer during July in France.
“We waited six hours to watch the competitors bike around La Grande Boucle, ‘the Big Curl.’ They biked around the street several times in a row,” she described. Many people stand along the race course, waiting for hours in hopes of catching a glimpse of the bikers, or maybe even get to bring home a souvenir water bottle tossed to the side by the competitors as they bike past.
“We didn’t get a water bottle, but it was definitely an unforgettable experience. Never doing that again!” Binder laughed.
Binder returned only a couple of days before school started, but enjoyed every moment of her trip and will never forget the memories that she and her family created this summer.
Here at CVHS, Binder teaches French levels one through four and AP. She has been teaching for almost 20 years in several places, with students of all ages.
“I’ve taught little kids and adults, from ages four all the way to adult education,” Binder said.
Binder explained that her favorite part of teaching is being able to share French culture, and help students develop an interest to learn a new language.
“Madame Binder is very sweet and positive. I’m never afraid to ask her for help if I’m confused. She doesn’t go too fast and she is encouraging,” said sophomore Alexandra Tam.
CVHS is fortunate to have such a caring and knowledgeable teacher as Madame Binder.